In 2008, I began creating quilt squares for the Safe Motherhood Quilt Project, created by midwife Ina May Gaskin, to raise awareness about the increasing crisis of American maternal mortality (the U.S. currently ranks 41st in the world in maternal mortality according to the World Health Organization). In November 2009, as Vice President of Florida Friends of Midwives and with the help of the National Organization for Women, I welcomed Ms. Gaskin to Sarasota to speak at an interdisciplinary panel discussion called Maternal Health Care in the 21st Century. Just before her arrival, I finished quilting an entire panel of the Safe Motherhood Quilt, honoring women who have died in pregnancy or childbirth in the US since 1982.
On April 9, Ms. Gaskin will join professionals from all over the world at the groundbreaking, interdisciplinary Healthy Mothers, Healthy Birth Summit in Washington DC, after which she and others will march the Safe Motherhood Quilt from the National Mall to the Capitol steps.
Friends, I would like to attend this summit and bring back to our community the knowledge of the world's experts on how to begin to fix this problem. I would like to march the quilt with Ina May and show the powers that be in Washington DC that this issue is critically important to American mothers. I have shown commitment to improving this community's birth outcomes and will continue to do so in whatever capacity presents itself to be most effective. Due to a hefty investment of time in the non-profit sector, I cannot personally afford the expenses of a trip to Washington at this time.
If you would like to help me on my journey to Washington DC, I will add your name to a custom-designed T-shirt that I will wear during the march, so you will be walking right along with me. I will also report to you my learnings from the Summit upon my return. Finally, you will be showing Amnesty International, American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology, The White Ribbon Alliance, American College of Nurse Midwives, Midwives Alliance of North America, The Tatia Oden French Memorial Foundation, The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project, International Childbirth Education Association, Doulas of North America, The Organization of Labor Assistants for Birth Options & Resources, and MyBestBirth.com that you support their important work and the mission of this Summit to issue a directive to the US Government to reduce maternal mortality in this country.